Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

The Jenny Holzer Gallery

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2011 at 12:36 am

London 2006

New-York 2005

Paris 2001

Inside Job

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2011 at 12:30 am

The financial industry is a service industry.

It should serve others before it serves itself.

Christine Laguarde

Inside Job is the first film to provide a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Three years after a terrible crisis, the financial sector remains at historic highs of over 8% : it has never been so powerful and condensed in a few number of banks that it is today. Those banks are led by a few numbers of great and well-known economists who work as academics, as well as executives, policy makers and consultants. Accompanied by a powerful lobby in Washington, they continue fighting against reforms and regulations and shape US economic policy. For thirthy years now, we have been witnessing an economic system driven by deregulation policies, allowing bankers to make risky investments on their customers’ money. Each crisis as caused more damage while the industry had made more and more money.

INTENSE!

Treasury Secretary , former CEO of Goldman Sachs , Henry Paulson and former Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan have both always campaigned for anti-regulation policy under Reagan , Clinton and Bush II.

“Much of today’s inequality is due to manipulation of the financial system, enabled by changes in the rules that have been bought and paid for by the financial industry itself—one of its best investments ever. The government lent money to financial institutions at close to 0 percent interest and provided generous bailouts on favorable terms when all else failed. Regulators turned a blind eye to a lack of transparency and to conflicts of interest.

When you look at the sheer volume of wealth controlled by the top 1 percent in this country, it’s tempting to see our growing inequality as a quintessentially American achievement—we started way behind the pack, but now we’re doing inequality on a world-class level. And it looks as if we’ll be building on this achievement for years to come, because what made it possible is self-reinforcing. Wealth begets power, which begets more wealth. During the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s—a scandal whose dimensions, by today’s standards, seem almost quaint—the banker Charles Keating was asked by a congressional committee whether the $1.5 million he had spread among a few key elected officials could actually buy influence. “I certainly hope so,” he replied. The Supreme Court, in its recent Citizens United case, has enshrined the right of corporations to buy government, by removing limitations on campaign spending. The personal and the political are today in perfect alignment. Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent. When pharmaceutical companies receive a trillion-dollar gift—through legislation prohibiting the government, the largest buyer of drugs, from bargaining over price—it should not come as cause for wonder. It should not make jaws drop that a tax bill cannot emerge from Congress unless big tax cuts are put in place for the wealthy. Given the power of the top 1 percent, this is the way you would expect the system to work.”

Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1% by Joseph E. Spiglitz , Vanity Flair May 2011

Walt Disney.

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2011 at 12:05 am

Walt Disney Productions – founded in 1923 by Walt and Roy Disney – establishes itself as a leader in the American animation movie industry. One cannot deny that Disney has been an influential part of American culture for years and still is. As every European children, one of my main entertainment as a kid was to watch Disney Movie. However, when I grew up and watched Aladdin again, I must say that it was a strong experience of revelation. The movie starts with a song whose lyrics are: Oh I come from a land / Where they cut off your ear / If they don’t like your face/ It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home. The characters in Aladdin are all bearing the stereotypical strong characteristic of a Middle Eastern person: from the big noses, to the dark skin to an inherent crudity; they are exactly what one expects the Middle East person to look like. This construction is not only concerned with race but also with gender. From the moment that Snow White was first released in the Depression Era in America, the Disney Corporation has attempted to give the consumer audience a fairy tale with a happy ending; this happy ending often comes at the expense of common sense knowledge about reality regarding gender, family structure, relationships and race. Disney embraces these common and traditional stereotypes which are consumed in large quantities by children.

However in this article I will focus only on the gender issue since Snow White, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and other films are commonly accused of strengthening gender roles. One question that needs to be asked, however, is whether Disney subtly promotes masculinity and traditional gender roles through its media?

 Although it might appear to average adult consumers that movies like Hercules are promoting masculine propaganda, we must realize the audience the films are intended for. The average Disney product consumer is no older than 12 years, which gives you an idea of the mindset that goes into the process of making these little beauties. Directors, animators, and producers are attempting to create attractive, strong lead characters that appeal to children. Gaston, Hercules, Simba and Prince charming are all good examples of these attractive archetypes.

Snow White by Dana Goldstein

The feminine roles, as well are accused of displaying subtle, submissive, and traditional behavior. This argument, unlike that for masculinity, has more basis. One cannot deny that sexism exists within Disney movies: the beautiful – and she absolutely must be beautiful – princess is always saved from the villian. These princesses, girlfriends, and central female characters are not as annoying and repulsive as their male counterparts.

The New York Times reports that Disney‟s audience is 40% male but that the majority of their related products are targeted to young girls (Barnes, 2009). A little boy or girl will automatically assimilate the gender assumptions and information that are given to him/her. Hence, Children who view Disney animated films are exposed to how male and female characters behave and may come to adopt those behaviors as their own.

In the end, it becomes not a question of whether Disney is promoting masculinity, but whether it is doing its part to help women lose their societal oppression. In that key moral area, these movies are not doing their part. Lead female roles do not have to be submissive or shy, rather they too could be bold and full of life. If both genders are brought to the same level in Disney movies, many progressive parents would feel at ease with the message being taught to their children.

Jackson Pollock.

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm

 

Facebook.

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Show us 14 photos of yourself and we can identify who you are

Eric Schmidt , 4th August 2010

“Facebook has accumulated a prodigious 500 million subscribers of whom 50% log on every day, and for a total of 700 billion minutes every month. Some 200 million people access the site from their mobile phones. Having started from nothing – or almost, since the prestige of Harvard University played a not insignificant part in its dazzling launch in February 2004 – Facebook is now the world’s largest website, although it still has only 1,700 employees. […]

By allowing users to create and polish their personal brand, Facebook has become the magic mirror of our narcissistic and self-publicising era. The Facebook experience gives users the impression of being on stage, performing in front of 130 people (the average number of “friends”), who applaud their every gesture and witticism. The more faithfully the electronic mirror reflects our personality – or how we would like to think of ourselves – the more we become intoxicated with our reflection. This encourages users to feed their Facebook page, sometimes compulsively, by posting information on their likes and dislikes, their address and their location in real time, using various geo-positioning techniques, or chronicling their love life.”

Philippe Riviere , le Monde Diplomatique

Social Networks have changed the nature of many of our relationships and how we interact with people. In the new world, people will maintain 500 social relationships, instead of the average of 125 since the invention of the telephone. To the digital generation, who don’t distinguish between “real” and “virtual” , or “offline” versus “online” friends, this is a life-changer.

Mark Pincus , founder and CEO of Zynga , The economist 2011

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Mc Ginley – Fireworks

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Petite délicatesse.

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2011 at 12:29 am

Quoi de plus complet que le silence ?

ThePahlaviGallery.

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm

              L'Iran , Une puissance devoilee

Farah Diba pursued an interest in architecture at the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris where she was a student of Albert Besson. Many Iranian students who were studying abroad at this time were dependent on State sponsorship in order to do so. Therefore when the Shah, as head of state, made official visits to foreign countries, he would frequently meet with a selection of local Iranian students. It was during such a meeting in 1959 at the Iranian Embassy in Paris that Farah Diba was first presented to Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. She complained to the Shah that Iranian currency restrictions made life for students abroad difficult. She repeated the complaint a year later to Ardeshir Zahedi, the son-in-law to the Shah by his first daughter Shahnaz. The Shah met her again, this time over tea, and proposed to her and she accepted.Farah Diba married the Shah on 21 December 1959, aged 21.

The below picture has been taken at the 2500 years parade which was a set of festivities that took place October 12–16 1971, on the occasion of the 2,500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great. The intent of the celebration was to demonstrate Iran’s long history and to showcase its contemporary advancements under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran.

The New York Times reported that $100 million was spent. Next to the ancient ruins of Persepolis, the Shah gave orders to build a tent city covering 160 acres (0.65 km2), studded with three huge royal tents and fifty-nine lesser ones arranged in a star-shaped design. French chefs from Maxim’s of Paris prepared breast of peacock for royalty and dignitaries around the world, the buildings were decorated by Maison Jansen (the same firm that helped Jacqueline Kennedy redecorate the White House), the guests ate off Limoges porcelain china and drank from Baccaratcrystal glasses. Lanvin designed the uniforms of the Imperial Household. 250 red Mercedes-Benz limousines were used to chauffeur guests from airport and back. Dinnerware was created by Limoges and linen by Porthault. This became a major scandal as the contrast between the dazzling elegance of celebration and the misery of the nearby villages was so dramatic that no one could ignore it. Months before the festivities, university students struck in protest. Indeed, the cost was so sufficiently impressive that the Shah forbade his associates to discuss the actual figures.

” A brilliant but dangerous megalomaniac , who is likely to pursue his own aim in disregard of US Interests “

Tea and Cookie time , my favourite picture

Royal Coronation in 1967. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi proclaims himself : His Imperial Majesty, Shahanshah (King of Kings, Emperor), Aryamehr (Light of the Aryans) and Bozorg Arteshtārān (Head of the Warriors).

His lifestyle , the image he gave of his family and his environment –  walks in the West,  stays in the european ski resorts – make appear a character, a family, an entourage that had no more link with the Iranian population and the Shah acutally  lived all his life with the illusion that he was extremely popular. The necessary bond between the monarch and his people was broken. However , the West and especially the US were so out of touch with realities in Iran and in the Middlea- East. On the first january 1978 , a year before the revolution , Carter stated: “ Iran is an island of stability amongst a troubled region (Middle East) which provides security for the whole region.” This blunder was based on combine false and flawed analysis by CIA, State Department and Pentagon. A few months later, Iran went into a chaotic anarchy and through a revolution!

                   THE QUEEN AND I 

Beset by advanced cancer, the shah left Iran in January 1979 to begin a life in exile. He lived in Egypt, Morocco, the Bahamas, and Mexico before going to the United States for treatment of lymphatic cancer. The couple’s presence in the United States further inflamed the already tense relations between Washington and the revolutionaries in Tehran. His arrival in New York City led to the Iranian takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran and the taking hostage of more than 50 Americans for 444 days. In these difficult circumstances, the Shah and Empress were not given permission to remain in the United States. A short time after receiving basic medical attention, the couple again departed to Latin America, although this time destined for Contadora Island in Panama. Then, speculation arose that the Panamanian Government was seeking to arrest the Shah in preparation for extradition to Iran. Under these conditions the Shah and Empress again made an appeal to President Anwar El Sadat to return to Egypt.Their request was granted and they returned to Egypt in March 1980, where they remained until the Shah’s death four months later on 27 July 1980.

in Exile in the Death Bed , 1980

“My main mistake was to have made an ancient people advance by forced marches toward independence, health, culture, affluence, comfort.”

Mohammad Reza Shah and Shahbanu Farah Pahlavi 1941-1979.

 

Cat! Cat! Oh, Cat… ohh…

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Truman Capote ( 1924 – 1984 ) by Slim Aarons , New York , 1958

She was still hugging the cat. “Poor slob,” she said, tickling his head, “poor slob without a name. It’s a little inconvenient, his not having a name. But I haven’t any right to give him one: he’ll have to wait until he belongs to somebody. We just sort of took up by the river one day, we don’t belong to each other: he’s an independent, and so am I. I don’t want to own anything until I know I’ve found the place where me and things belong together. I’m not quite sure where that is just yet. But I know what it’s like.” She smiled, and let the cat drop to the floor. “It’s like Tiffany’s,” she said. Holly Golightly

Breakfast at Tiffany’s , 1958

“You know what’s wrong with you, Miss Whoever-You-Are?  You’re chicken, you’ve got no guts.  You’re afraid to stick out your chin and say, “Okay, life’s a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance anybody’s got for real happiness.”  You call yourself a free spirit, a wild thing, and you’re terrified somebody’s going to stick you in a cage.  Well, baby, you’re already in that cage.  You built it yourself.  And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somaliland.  It’s wherever you go.  Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.” Paul Varjak

Breakfast at Tiffany’s , 1961


I’m very scared, Buster. Yes, at last. Because it could go on forever. Not knowing what’s yours until you’ve thrown it away.